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Atrial fibrillation

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Introduction
Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation
Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and it is only discovered during routine tests or investigations for another condition.
Causes of atrial fibrillation
The exact cause of atrial fibrillation is unknown, but it becomes more common with age and affects certain groups of people more than others.
Diagnosing atrial fibrillation
Feeling your pulse can give a strong indication of whether you have atrial fibrillation. If you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat and you have chest pain, see your GP straight away.
Treating atrial fibrillation
The treatment of atrial fibrillation varies from person to person and depends on the type of atrial fibrillation, your symptoms and several other factors.
Complications of atrial fibrillation
The main complication of atrial fibrillation is an increased risk of having a stroke. In extreme cases, it can lead to heart failure.
‘Flecainide really works for me’
Frances, 57, was diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and keeps her heart rate under control with flecainide.
‘I have no adverse symptoms, which is puzzling’
Rupert, 78, is a theatre director and regularly goes to the gym. In 2007, he was diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Atrial Fibrillation treatment and what the next steps might be.
Medicine-guides
The list below is a combination of the and brand names of medicines available in the UK. Each name provides a link to a separate website (Medicine Guides)